It's Nov. 2nd.
Just two days after Halloween. It's still the season; the second day of Day of the Dead is today. At my house, we still have "candles" (battery operated) lit in the small pumpkins hanging from a tree in our front yard. Metal jack-o-lanterns are still lighting our walkway. The ceramic jack-o-lantern I've had since I was a child, the kind with a light bulb inside, is still lighting my front window.
There are more than three whole weeks until Thanksgiving. 35 days until Hanukkah. 49 days until winter solstice. 52 entire days until Christmas.
But, I've fallen behind. Because I'm only just starting to plan my Wunder Budder holiday offerings.
To me, November 2nd is way too early to be planning, but for retailers across the country, this type of planning is usually already done by now, having begun in the summer. Although I try to start in August, I usually get distracted by, well, summer things. It's hard to think about Christmas and other winter holidays when it's 95 degrees outside (at least here in the northern hemisphere).
Stores in my area were already covered in Christmas decorations, the day after Halloween (and some before Halloween even happened). This is most likely true for stores in your area, too.
It's a little out of hand.
For me, there are two things happening here.
One is that I like to live in the moment and do my best to do that. But, living in the moment is tough when planning things far in advance is a required part of the job.
The other is trying to balance my distaste for the over-commercialization of a holiday season about giving (and pretty much skipping over one about being thankful), with my great love for Wunder Budder and an obligation to sell products in order to stay in business.
This is something I grapple with each and every year.
I dislike the culture of consumerism, but I need to sell for Wunder Budder to stay alive. Do you see my dilemma?
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Whenever I travel or celebrate a special occasion, I make a new essential oil blend. Sometimes I put it in an inhaler, or sometimes a perfume oil, sometimes a body oil, or a spray. Having a new aroma is my way to commemorate special moments in my life.
A few weeks ago, I went to Ireland. I wanted to bring some body oil for relaxing, so I first made a blend with Peace. Then I remembered I recently bought jasmine extract and neroli essential oil for personal use. They are both very precious oils, so I don't often use them, I had purchased them on a whim. It turns out I had a reason, I just didn't know it at the time.
I wanted to make something that reminded me of summer; reminded me of flowers blooming and of fertile earth and fresh green leaves. I started by pulling aside the oils that reminded me of that aroma. I wanted to use neroli and jasmine for sure, not only because I wanted to work with them, but also because their heavy floral aromas were perfect for the heart of the blend.
I needed a top note that was
I'm taking part in an Instagram Challenge called March Meet the Maker. Joanne Hawker started this challenge in 2016, but I only heard of it this year and jumped in late, just a couple days ago. Joanne set up each day with a different prompt, and makers share photos and stories related to that prompt. Today's prompt is "design process", and since this is my favorite part of my job, I wanted to share more than an Instagram post would allow.
Each type of product I make has a slightly different design process, depending on whether it's a lip balm and I'm creating new scents, or it's an aromatherapy blend where the ingredients are therapeutic, or it's a limited edition body product that is completely new. But they all start the same - an idea. Usually followed by the question, "how can I make this scent with just natural ingredients?"
Two years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore, and I picked up a book on their bestsellers table. I liked the way the book looked and felt in my hands, and I made a split second decision to buy it just before they closed, completely unaware that what I felt was what the book was about - an item sparking joy in myself. The book was Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Though the KonMari Method is about following your heart, not necessarily your instincts, I'm so glad I picked up that book!
I love stuff. I love to collect things, especially old things. I love the memories they hold, the connections they remind me of, and the history they contain. I am comforted by always having useful things around in case I need them. It's rare I ever leave my house without a bag (although I do try to challenge myself sometimes).